Rotator cuff tear
A rotator cuff tear occurs when one or more tendons of the SITS muscles - Supraspinatus, Infraspinatus, Teres minor, and Subscapularis - of the rotator cuff are torn. Acute tears happen when the tendons are violently stretched, like falling on an outstretched arm. Chronic tears result from cumulative wear and tear of the tendon, and it usually occurs in the elderly.
The cuff is responsible for stabilizing the glenohumeral joint, abducting, externally rotating, and internally rotating the humerus. When shoulder trauma occurs, these functions can be compromised. The diagnosis is clinical, mainly based on pain and weakness, specifically with abduction or rotation, and can be confirmed with an MRI. Treatment involves rest, ice, and pain control, but if it fails, surgery may be needed.
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